Monday, 30 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 30

A variation on today's prompt (from the facebook group 30/30), taken a couple of lines from the Terrance Hayes' poem 'Gospel of the two sisters', but not quite the last ones
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"How often do you hear the tenderness you need to hear? I mean exactly when you need to hear it? Is it ever before that little yolk of hurt wraps itself in layers hard enough to break teeth?"

Does it sing to you in your own voice, the way it used to sound before bitterness made it brittle? Soothe you in a tone you have forgotten you once owned, full enough to hold loneliness at bay? Hold you in arms, not yet bruised from your own pinches, fuller fleshed barrier against your own heart's brutality?

Because perhaps it is that very tenderness that brings the hurt.  As you reach for the belief that you deserve it, you mock your own comfort, draw it further from your own hands.  Fade the colour of hope with your dry, dark stare until it pales beyond insignificance.

Try to teach yourself the words you sing to others, but falter mid-verse.  Remember the song of forgiveness you preach, but confused with a hymn of recrimination.  Set yourself in their shoes, perhaps, start from there. Believe yourself to be as they say they see you. Believe the kindness is not lies.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 29

today i feel like maybe i discovered
a start to the end
like i somehow finally got in sight 
of that light they keep talking about
their voices echoing through the darkness
of this tunnel we traipse together
but we all know, they and i, that i've made
this particular discovery before
rushing ahead with my disbelieving grin
only to be greeted by a host of fireflies
or to discover a discarded helmet
its light still winking knowingly

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 28

it's this:
kitchen until 2am
three nights in a row
fish - scale, season, batter, fry
chicken - clean, season, boil, roast
wash starch from rice until water runs clear
6 cans of plum tomatoes
9 onions
5 ata rodo, 6 ata inla
blending as the sparks fly
transform white to jollof
and a little fried for those who don't do spice

it's this:
10pm trip to 24 hour stores
for forgotten eggs
& lemons
11pm - mixing begun
a couple of recipes and a little improvised
dozing on the sofa until oven bell pings
icing pump quest spanning 4 shops
2.5kg icing sugar
but still needing 2 packs of ready-made
squeezing out patterns
bursting new pump

it's this:
too many and too much
for one back seat to take
bags between legs on laps
in arms under foot
tucked in seat belts (just this once);
12 souls one car
60 miles here 60 miles back;
cyclling there - rain drenched
cycling home again - retrieving forgotten
cycling there - rain drenched
cycling home again - sleep

it's this:
3 flights
3 flights
(3 flights!)
over and over
puffing, laden
chairs, cans, coolers, cake

it's this:
who can keep quiet the longest
you get chocolate
(i have no chocolate
someone get me chocolate)
is that them?
everyone out here
they're ringing
3 flights
they're coming
2 flights
everyone here - they're coming
1 flight - camera
ready when she

Saturday, 28 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 27

I forgot which sponge was mine today
stood there in the bath
newly wet, formerly warm
seconds cooling drips before they join
the pool of splash
collecting impatiently at my feet

hesitant in choosing as i consult mind
that continues to draw a blank
blinds flat, shutters down
and for the moment
all keys lost
as i rattle, hopeless, at memory's awnings

the trickle down my back 
becomes a sly finger of fear
nowhere near terror
but mounting frustration
(i used it yesterday
i use it everyday)
quick shifts to the regular
anxious agitation
(Alzheimer's, early onset)

head threatens throbbing
and eyes swim a little
closed a moment
seeing red
and that's it
obvious as the fear
grab the newly found thing
get to srcubbing away anxiety

bath done
step out whistling
panic forgotten

Friday, 27 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 26

walk on frosted nights
crust crisp snow swallows foot-steps
home hearth heats your soles

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 25

it is too late, now,
for endearments and apologies
so take this instead:
did i tell you about breakfasts
back home?
how i ate graperuit segments
straight from the tin
juice caught by tongue
tip before it reached the peak
of my chin
some mornings
pineapple rings also
syrupy freshness
tha never quite satiated
the same way
as those bitter wedges

back here
mixing batter
licking fingers
last minute ingredient
bitterness tempering the sweet
rainy night memory
of sticky heat mornings

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 24

dazed, here, dazzled
devastated by a portrayal too perfect
to be named simply

at lights up
i want to create
visual appreciation
standing ovation
for your art

but your words
they rooted me to the spot
took my roots
and shone them under that spotlight

showed me home
in a way that hinted perhaps
you walk those routes
by heart
time without number

still stunned
all your words
robbed me of my own

Monday, 23 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 23

nothing here for you 
to see - rain stopped play; punters'
hopes all dampened

Sunday, 22 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 22

today has been a day
for tears
just beneath the surface
at times bubbling over
when they don't know
what else to do 
with themselves
never were taught
to bear the pressure
be patient
to contain themselves
wait at least until
a more appropriate time
instead they jostle with each other
to be first to emerge
win the downward race
making their own tracks

it's been a day
for missing
for diving into the mundane
hoping mindless industry
will somehow distract
dilute a pain that already
is tiresome
with its predictability
in its insistence
refuses to take the hint
lays low as i try to transform
housework into healing
makes its presence known
at inconvenient moments
whispers reminders
under vacuum's drone
reflects on shining surfaces

the day has been one
for carrying on
wailing or silent weary but
carrying on
deliberate distractions
or genuine dismissal
ignoring or unaware
carrying on
and if i keep to this
for long enough
carrying on
then perhaps 
it will come true
carrying on
and every other 
waking moment
carrying on
won't be spent 
avoiding thoughts of you
carrying on
every other 
waking moment
carrying on
won't be wasted
on working quite so hard at
carrying on

Saturday, 21 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 21

every night
i forget to forget
that's how the line goes
isn't it?

to remind myself
not to expect your call
recall all too well
the contours
of your voice
how perfectly they fit
snug against
my eardrums

leave the lamp on
so you won't trip
when you come in
forget with your late
there is no more coming in
no danger from bedroom
floor flung items
or wardobe door
left ajar

still surprised
every morning
by your missing
unmeshed with my own
don't realise
the scent of you
only emanates from memory's

don't notice
until too late
one too many
at the breakfast table
drink from your mug
keep myself from remembering
to forget

Friday, 20 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 20

today i woke with my mouth dry from grimacing
stretched overlong, winced at spasm
despite expecting it
sleep liberally lining eyelids
gummed shut, still, wishing to be back under
but the day pokes bright its insistence
that i rejoin the living
though it offers nothing of interest
to entice me out of bed
and i decide it will have to do  without me
manipulate lips into something more closely resembling...closed
and allow eyes to resume the position
the day can go on without my contribution
for now, my dreams need tending

Thursday, 19 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 19

i have forgotten where i am from
forgotten that real heat goes beyond
skin deep
sinks into the soul
and radiates outwards

forgotten what it is to have the hurt
not be much
as it is absorbed by layer upon layer
of kin
reducing its force to dust

i have forgotten how to step
to this rhythm
shake sadness to the bone
roll, bob and flow on proud beats
in time with no surrender to it

little wonder, then
that every day is spent
flustered, frustrated
how can i find the way home
when i'm still so lost?

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 18

shivering through some sort of
self-fulfilling prophecy
that the layers would not stand up
to the non-temperate tricks
being turned by the weather
fake attraction from a glance
lulled into taking a chance
despite it being the same old story
year in, year out

tomorrow, add another - 7 instead of just 6

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 17

stand, pose, pout
consider yourself and marvel
at just how pretty you are
6 years old and pleased as punch
with what you see
in every reflection
only child
but self-appointed twin
keeps you company
perfect tandem
laugh and grin
loud delight
at such a picture
of perfection
beckon me to let loose
the restraint of years
self-consciousness carefully
crafted to keep preening
at bay

Monday, 16 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 16

contrary to popular belief
(or perhaps in line with
i don't remember
do not bother me with such trifles)
it is never too late to start over
ad infinitum
as long as you learn
from the last time round
and on the way back
to the beginning
you remember
to learn to forgive yourself
and actually mean it this time

Sunday, 15 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 15

loving how you both call your boys
gives me hope
hoping you will still do this
when they have become men
and you matured further, together
hold them to comfort
kiss them on lips
and none find it strange
impart love
receive it

remember car journeys
disney singing and giggles
name changes
babylicious shadow
gorgeous boy
bedtimes with tiger suits
the girl explorer and mr men

Napowrimo Day 14

one more thing to add
to the list of not quite good enough
lost in the fug of over eaten
under prepared
distracted and hyperfocused
all at once
until it was too late

tight fisted frustration
too miserly to make any real difference
but enough for rage to creep in

count decades
and hope for a lack of
next time

Friday, 13 April 2012

Napowrimo 2012 Day 13

Ice-cream - 52 flavours
Melting outside castle walls
Ninja fairies - dodgy outfits
Stars and wands and cowboy boots

Roof-topped market
Garlic bread
Ten-foot tuna mayo baguette
Break to eat

Town hall wedding
Vintage bus
Teal (or turquoise) overload
Cheeky driver, congrats kiss
Dragon lording
Strewn confetti lawn display

Vaulted ceilings
Bug filled drawers
Mosaic sonic
Mammoths not walruses
Dinosaur skulls
Crumbling jaws
Welsh plabets mime

'Never shown this to anyone before
it's my best friend'

Eat again
All you can
Home to dance
Then hit the surf

Dora rules - valé?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 12

Feeling a little misconstrued
today, or perhaps misconstructed
looks like someone came along and messed
with what little order I had built
up here - blustered in, swept through my towering scales
of to do, worked hard at undoing my hard work
strewing all in a return to heaped debris

Seems even my face got in
on the act waited
till my back was turned
and with no qualms
shifted features, almost imperceptible
could have passed unnoticed
if I hadn't been searching so close in that glass
for something else
an extra line that has no place
nestling there among the others
subtle sullen set to lips
painting its way onto smiles

My words are coming out all wrong
alarmingly disjoint rifling through my tongue's intent
find myself with words like 'love' when I know
vaguley that I mean no such thing
but can't reach quite far enough inside
to pull out the tag attached to that meaning
I hum, stretch, puff
turn my head and hope the upset does not
show much
play for time or pretend not to hear
requests to clarify

And the weather doesn't help
sunlight laughing as thunderclaps applaud
the confused whole straining in
through glass clamouring for the warmth,
trembling at the rumbling snorts,
thrashed by passing showers that obscure
the muffled light

I give up trying to accept
and let whatever it is be
whatever it is
I spend so much time kidding myself
I can achieve anything I put my mind to
but realise, now, how it wanders
it's become a little too diffracted
so I sit, subside, let the colours settle
lay back as the spinning slows
wait for the world to right itself
for the moment, just leave myself be

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 11

I saw you stumble
That day
Free fall into the rabbit hole
Curious as your cat until mistep
Set blue dress to flaring your distress

March madness in full bloom
I followed you headlong into wonderland
Set up shop, tabled mice and men
Met your advances with ridicule
The whole while wishing worlds could be altered

My nose twitching nervous at your approach
I took refuge in riddles, in nonsense, in words
Came to my senses only once
The party was over
Your salt water lake banks bursting
Hair sodden with your grief

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 10

watching that film
about eternal sunshine
and attempts at spotless minds
loving the irony of it
reminding me of you

that i wonder at
the possiblity of forgetting
and how trying only seems
to make memories hold faster

all well and good
if the remembering were real
instead childhood days
meld with fantasies
i find myself shaking sand

from shoes that never saw a beach
wring out showers unspent
depart for home
but drift to lost
on a path i know too well

until the morning
whenever that is
with circadian discarded
in favour of waking dreaming
night owls in place of sunrise crows

Monday, 9 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 9

this is all i have for this for now - it's late, and i don't want to end up stressing and ranting like i did the other night. definitely one to be expanded or reworked another time though.
- - - - - - - -

go back to sleep
pull the covers up
layer yourself with tabloid lies
pick'n'mix politics
get caught up with the rhetoric
and facts can go hang

Sunday, 8 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 8

i love
the indifference
you watch
me with

sit there,
legs crossed
as i twist, bounce
dervish spin
star jump
slide and glide
imagine disco ball
packed dance floor


from you
your eyebrows barely twitch
glance follows every move i make
but you couldn't look more bored
if you tried
and i sometiems wonder if you do

i try to coax you
into accompanying me
though maybe singing
the wrong words
at full volume
is not the best way
to entice

once i start
the stomping
you decide it's time
to draw the line
stand, stretch
muscles flex
sniff, turn tail
and flee the scene

go curl up on the sofa
til my sanity returns

Saturday, 7 April 2012

this kid...

...has my heart

still not asleep - freewrite

every night now, it seems
i find ways to bring myself to tears
awash with hurt over some little thing
that ought not to matter
or mourning some dream self
that never existed
but was so real when i dreamed her

sometimes these mini episodes
escape into the day
not so much like night into morning
as like the last dying light
of that full moon so red
you could have sworn it
was leaking blood

when the sun is at its height
my mood set to full beam
and the world holding back its tragedies
a brief moment of respite
from the constant braying of horror
i think perhaps those other moods
are only imagined
or wonder if i will them somehow
whether willingly or not

but then i try to recall a time
when they didn't exist
and only succeed in remembering back
to when i was better at smiling
and keeping quiet about the rest

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 7

too frustrated and aggravated and pent up to sleep. so i read a few articles and then, reading a poem by LaYinka Sanni and then another by Warsan Shire, decided rather than just once again be frustrated by my own lack of skill, i'd be inspired by their honesty and aspire instead.

a friend tonight told me to 'write and relax a little/get back into the flow'. she said also perhaps i am competing with myself. to the former, my initial reaction was more frustration - how can i relax when i can't achieve what i'm trying so hard to achieve. then i realised she's right ('you're right - i know you're right), and that basically i'm coming at this like 'write a great poem - write it now - now, dammit!' rather than just writing and seeing what comes. so i guess that the below is my first attempt at that since i started this month.

as for the self-competition - i don't know any other way to be, and i'd be lying if i said i did
- - - - - - - - - - -

my writing embarrasses me
never does as its told
won't sit still, keep its place
wear the face i envisage for it
my ideas are lofty
appreciation of other's expressions
as deep as my mother's commendation
of friends' grade cards
comparing isn't a bad thing
when you're only using it to get better

so i sit and write
and write
and write
because sometime between then and now
something in me went missing
something in me got broke

can't find it in the diaries stacked
on cluttered drawer tops
though there are hints
in the smiles that are raised
by my younger foolish self
no more foolish than now, mind
perhaps then even a little less so

it's not in the forced smiles
that don't meet my eyes
in any photo of me
discomfit sitting uppermost
as i ask to be excused
from visual memory

so i sit and write
and write
and write
because if its lost then it must be someplace
somewhere waiting to be found
gathering scuffs as its kicked about

and the wanting overwhelms the writing
every pretension in the world
rushing to be expressed
twisting my fingers into fists
that mishandle the pen
producing misshapen phrases
leaden clichés

promises to self lay broken
cracked, discarded before use
sleep is the ultimate false fantasy
i shelf it over and over
telling myself how great it will be
how great i will be
ho much better
when i finally get it
under control
not even scared anymore
by the fact i know
that's just another lie

so i sit and write
and write
and write
because somehow to not just isn't an option
whatever comes out will just have to suffice
and maybe one day it actually will

Friday, 6 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 6

today i tried too hard
like every day before
pressed down until graphite blunted
grey shouted all over white
careening course of point across pages
fought with fountain until ink ran dry
and in all the blotted blurting
nothing to show for it

and each push sends up storm clouds
futility writ loud in deepened furrows
nothing for it but to push on or give up
each as deeply dissatisfying as the other
no lesser of two evils apparent

fling pen in disgust
scowl, pout
barely hold back from drumming heels
and howling
a pick of perfect profanities

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 5

A little late to post, but written before midnight!
- - - - -

Rolling home from love in wordy form
From mini creators shining as they perform
Free flows, set verse, lucid lines, poetry
Making each momentarily legendary
And though the spotlight glows over everyone there
The warmth comes from hearts and from truths they lay bare
All lacking pretension, accepted with grace
For one night the world is a lovelier place

Thursday, 5 April 2012

not a NaPoWriMo one

i wrote this a few weeks ago - sharing it now inspired by the amazing Belinda Zhawi
thanks to r and jr and mia for critiquing
- - - - - - - -

quote is from amir sulaiman, and feel of the content stemmed from warsan shire's 'for women who are 'difficult' to love'
- - - - - - -

"so much love, sometimes it feels impossible
so much love sometimes it makes me hostile"

i never learnt how to love carefully
how to ensure no-one gets hurt
was never taught there need be no scars
for it to be real

there will be bloodshed
here, as you rip the heart from my chest to verify feelings
tired tendons distended from near-bursting beating at your presence
chambers echoing with cries, sometimes joy, sometimes anguish
breast battened for fear of the storms to come, predictable fury

and you bear your own scars
weary warrior worn by our love
wearing it well, though the battle wore you down
we are lovers and are fighters
lips battered, bitten, bruised as we exchanged already broken promises
your back scored, red tinged passion, necessary pain

there is no going gentle into this good night
we rage, even as our love burns, consumes us
collide in our clumsy attempts to comfort
broken and bloodied by our eager embraces
our only salvation before the dying comes about
holding for time enough to allow the tempest to pass
long enough for acceptance to replace ardor, some semblance of sanity
before the inevitability of letting go

11/03/12 - M.A. N. mosque

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 4

summer, innocent
at winter's first approach. fall
bruise tinted lessons

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 Day 3

I set out to run from you
Forgot the shackles I had donned from the start
Captivated, I'd swallowed the key, but now sought it,
Howling, attempt to escape.

Impatient for you to catch the spark
Lit up at the thought
Not caring that we should burn, emulated passion
Self-immolation my new art

Scattered my ashes in place of petals
Ashen, lay expectant in your path
Threw up furious flurries, fuming
As your steps failed to make a single smudge

Monday, 2 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 2

Ugh - not finished... but obsessiveness deems i must post what i have before midnight.... it may still be a bit of a pumpkin though...

- - - - -

shall I tell you how you have changed my life?
taken away my words, reduced me to a walking embodiment
of every cliché ever to exist?
how the nights are too long now when you are not near
how knowing you has made the days brighter
(when they finally appear)
how i count each minute that we're apart
and as such get nothing else done, which may be good
for my heart, but does little for my employability
that's ok though, given that nothing matters but you
you being all that i need, food, drink and shelter are dispensable

shall I reveal how i knew you were the one from the start
how in fact i always knew, because before you there was no start
or at least, since you, given you are always on my mind
there is no space for recalling anything that may have come before
there is no before, after all, i've always felt this way

the thing is, though, always is such a long while
and though i agree your smile goes a way to battle misery
it'd really have to be some kind of wonderful for just that to be enough
for me - i need something a little more

so can't i just like you a lot, but maybe not excessively?
agree there's somewhere between all or nothing, and obsession
isn't key (necessarily), because pining gets tiring - i mean really, have you tried it?
i want to lose weight, but not on this love-struck diet
not that i deny it's sometimes kind of cool to spend hours
daydreaming, revelling in fantasies
truth be told, they get a bit… samey
(sorry - sometimes i'm just not that creative)

so, if it's ok by you, let's just skip the honeymooney bit
i was never so great at simpering, and perfection doesn't fit you
quite as well as when you snort laughter loud
or even when you yell, unintelligibly, about the guy ('idiot')
whose service was substandard
or how we argue when you forget to show up at the time or place we planned...

i understand - it's all part of the charm, or all in the game
i think
whatever - it's enough, i'll take it for now
hoping maybe now will stretch to always
and even if it doesn't, maybe we can just stick anyways
and remember the better bits on badder days
and if that's not enough, then i'll have to resort
to telling you how you changed my life

Sunday, 1 April 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012 day 1

morning sun teases through curtain cracks
false promise of a day bright beyond my dreams

netted, tries working its way through lacy perforations
weakened battling into the cave of the night's cell

nudging my reluctance to its feet, gape-yawning
gives sleep the brush off, the alarm clock the evil eye